Thursday, August 30, 2012

More Images of Dark Skinned Women Requested

Model - dark skin I guess

Model Karen Alexander - dark skin I guess

Actress and Miss USA 1993 Kenya
Moore - dark skin I guess
Fabulous EBW pin-up model Angelique
Noire - dark skin I guess


Actress Jennifer Freeman - light skin
I guess.
Canadian actress Jessica Parker Kennedy. Lol she
was on Smallville for a while and I though she was
Zoe Kravitz lol! She is starring on the Secret
Circle right now... I might watch just to see her.
Light skin I guess.

Model Jessica White - medium/average skin I guess
An EBW I don't know- medium/average
skin I guess, but it doesn't really matter
to me























I decided to turn a comment on my post Smiling, Fun, Happy Black Women into a blog entry. First I'll say I'm not angry about the comment at all (I knew it would come sooner or later) and thank you for your kind words :) I just want to address it here so it's done and I won't have to do it again in the future. I do hear your concern. Anyways depending on the comments I'll decide whether to delete this post or not. I'll post your comment below and then provide my response:
I would first like to say that I do genuinely like your blog and visit it quite frequently. However I have noticed that when you show pictures of BW smiling, looking sweet, feminine etc I have noticed that the overwhelming majority happen to be lighter skinned. This is a concern for me primarily because I am brown skinned and I'm sure any young girls visiting this site of the same hue could easily find herself discouraged in not seeing images of gorgeous chocolate hued women looking beautiful & in all of their glory. And perhaps even give up in her pursuit of greater femininity reasoning that "it must not be meant for me". Lighter skinned women typically get the enthusiastic praise and potrayal of being the better, more feminine half of BW. Generally our young girls can go to any tv show, commercial, or movie to see the Black light woman's beauty on parade. And although there is absolutley nothing wrong with that, it does become problematic when in contrast the overwhelming majority of depictions regarding the darker black woman is often shown as the loud, ghetto, mean mugging round the way girl with an attitude and no self awareness. She's often presented mocked, ridiculed, unloved, or scorned. Or posssiably some tragic combination of them all. I think in order to counter this one sidedness of beauty & femininity bias in our community it is of equal importance to show the range of diversity in complexion BW encompass. To be clear, I do want you to know that I feel that you are doing an excellent job with the message that you are getting across on your site. I'm just hoping to bring awareness to this oversite you may not even realize. But as a beautiful brown skinned, size 6, and 31 year old former model I witness everyday. Eg; " Are you mixed you certainly couldn't be all black" or the often heard "you sure are pretty for a dark girl". You see its all about the imaging and because people dont see BW that look like me on Tv that means to many It must not exsist. I must not exsist. Or they even try to make an excuse for my beauty and darkness by trying to right me off as mixed, which I most certainly am not. The bottom line is YOU are a form of media and as BW although conventional media outlets refuse to pick up the torch of showing all hues of BW on par with whites and women of other races. YOU most certainly can. If you would like I could gladly send you images of beautiful choclate to ebony sisters that I have saved on my computer for you to post on your site. Women that are feminine, graceful, demure, beautiful and unapologetically, and obviously black. The power is yours!
Well I guess I don't get into that light-skin dark-skin mess because I don't hear that much about it in Canada. I may not hear that much about it because I just don't associate with people who care about it. The guys who like me don't care, my family didn't tell me I was unattractive because of my skin, and other people teased me for other things (e.g., being Black period not for being darker than someone else). So for me if someone is part Black, identifies as Black, or they look like they are Black that's all I need to identify with them. I'm not into divisiveness or favoritism as long as they are good people or the this person is "more Black or real Black" than someone else thing. I know I may be very different from from other Black women but when I see them on TV or in photos I can see myself in that same position whether they are much lighter or much darker than myself (I consider myself to be medium/average). I don't need to see someone my exact shade at all. If you limit yourself to only identifying with dark skinned women you will be greatly limiting the positive influences you could be receiving as I mentioned in a previous post List of Shows Starring Black Women.

When I think "light" I mean Jessica Parker Kennedy colour where you strongly suspect she is mixed but maybe she is just like that (e.g., light skinned parents). Medium is average and most women I see fall into this range and includes Halle Berry, Zoe Saldana, Gabrielle Union, Angela Bassett, and Kelly Rowland. Most of my images are of medium and light skinned women that is true. Dark I would say is Rutina Wesley, Viola Davis or even darker. That's just the way I see it and I'm going to continue thinking that way (don't anyone bother trying to "teach me" because it doesn't matter in my life anyway). So yes, women like Rutina Wesley and Viola Davis or darker are not as popular in the media and there are not as many popular celebrities who look like them.

In that post there were 32 women. Of that 32 only 8 are what I would consider light skinned, 21 are medium toned, and 3 are dark. To some people there are even more dark women because I've heard some categorize Gabrielle Union, Kelly Williams and others as dark. I have nothing against light or dark skinned women and if they are attractive and act like EBWs then I will collect images of them and watch their shows and movies and seek out their music. I'm not going to restrict myself to only posting dark skinned women to combat the negative stereotypes but everyone else in the world is free to do so on the Internet, and if they are EBWs I will link to them.

Let me explain that I get 97% of my blog images from from my Tumblr site (before I would use Google Images but this is more efficient and there are better images). The images from my Tumblr site come 99% from reblogging images from Tumbler users I subscribe to or from searches on the site. So unless other people post images of elegant, Rutina Wesley coloured women then they won't appear on this blog. I spend WAY too much time looking at and reblogging images as is to start searching the web for elegant dark skinned women especially when I don't have a preference. In order to get the images on my Tumbler site I go through MANY images that just don't have the EBW look so I would say maybe 15% of the images meet my strict personal criteria. Sometimes I just have to post the great image despite the small thing I don't like (e.g., a tiny tattoo, slightly too much cleavage, skirt at a length too short so I would never wear it, slight midriff bared, makeup too bright, hair shorter than I like etc.). Here is my criteria that I try my best to follow:

Criteria:

  1. Image is clear and vertical and actually an attractive photo (yes a lot of bad images are posted)
  2. No mean mugging or vulgar expressions whatsoever and only smiling or neutral faces (this leads me to reject so many photos)
  3. Woman is fully dressed in feminine, elegant, or girly clothing and not in a vulgar position (e.g., legs open, partially exposed, this is a major problem. I only post women in skirts and dresses too)
  4. The woman is attractive and of healthy weight (sorry I won't post just anyone. I only post women who fit the "ideal EBW" image, many woman won't, but the closer they get the better they look. They are ideals to strive for and if I post just anyone then what would be the point. There are Tumblr sites where they appear to accept anyone's submitted images)
  5. Images only contain Black women (rarely post where there is a male or non-Black woman also in the photo, and I only post if the Black woman is the focal point)
  6. Feminine looking afro-textured, relaxed, or weaved hair that looks natural and not bizarre (i.e., no blonde hair, vibrant colours, shaved heads, half-shaved hair, bad weaves, masculine looking hair)
  7. No visible tattoos and no face piercings (this is a serious issue with so many women even Zoe Saldana has tiny tattoos. I loathe face piercings with the exception of a tiny nose stud. Sorry but lip piercings just gross me out)
  8. It is a woman who I think has some EBW qualities (sorry Nikki Minaj or other female rappers will never be shown. I show Rihanna and Beyonce on rare occasions because it gives me hope that anyone can change and become an EBW)

Here are some images that would not meet my criteria: Reject1 (tattoo), Reject 2 (midriff, not EBW dress in my opinion), Reject 3 (bad photo because of yellow line on the right), Reject 4 (don't like the facial expression), Reject 5 (I just don't like the dress lol, shows leg and cleavage at same time), Reject 6 (posing with a non-Black woman). Do you see now how hard it was to get the photos I do show? So definitely the criteria are strict and I have to go through MANY images to find the one's that fit and that takes up a lot of time that I need to be spending doing other things (I'm going to probably kick myself for it later). I definitely don't turn down images because the woman is too dark or too light and I don't care if she is biracial, who she dates, or where she is from.

I would gladly accept your submissions on Tumblr but be warned that I might not like them or think that they fit the criteria. There are also several Tumblr sites devoted to dark skinned women. The great thing about the site is that is is free and anyone can sign up, collect, and post images of elegant dark skinned women if this is important to them. If you started an account about elegant dark skinned women I would subscribe to you and gladly reblog your photos. That might be more fun and empowering anyway because you would be in complete control and I think when people want something they should put in the effort to do it themselves. I think that collecting and trading images is a great hobby but it can be time consuming and I think readers need to realize that for instance, it took me about 3 hours to do this post. I think that the most benefit will actually come from finding and choosing images one likes rather than just looking at what I collect anyway. But for those short on time there are also in my opinion plenty of dark skinned women on my Tumblr site I just haven't used the images on this blog since I only post so many (I prefer to only post celebrities and models on this blog because posting random people is creepy and they might not like it, I've done it a few times though because they were great photos :)

Dark Skinned Women Tumblr Sites (as you will see only a small % of photos are EBW appropriate) Everyone start collecting images!

Dark skinned black beauty (dark skin)
Fyeahdarkgirls (dark skin)
Dark as night (dark skin)

Femme Black chick (feminine Black women)
Black and feminine (feminine Black Women)
My Black is beautiful2 (feminine Black women)
Modestly spectacular (feminine Black women)

Famous Black girls (different shades)
Black girls pretty 2 (different shades)
For colored chicks (different shades)
Incomparable Black beauties (different shades)
Natural hair rules (natural hair)
Natural hair everything (natural hair)
Skinny Black babe (different shades)

12 comments:

  1. Hi! Since you took 3 hours plus to write this wonderful blog post and numerous hours to maintain this blog and tumblr site, I can take 10 minutes out to write a response. First, I would like to say thank you! You are doing great work. Also feel free not to publicly publish my comment, as I note why below.

    I encourage you to no longer engage such ladies or people on the internet. What has been so wonderful about your blog is it has been free of the negativity on both ends. Of course as your popularity increases, people will come and challenge. They will tell you what you should/shouldn't do (I hope I am not being hypocritical!). But as the elegant woman that you are you handle the situation with respect and elegance. If the poster is a 'former model' then she definitely knows the situation (her own personal situation and that of imaginary in the media). Your encouragement for others to send you images through creating their own vocal platforms is spot on. I wouldn't mind if the comment was delete and ignored. This post can be just photos of more elegant Bw! The comment and post distract from your core message. Continue to ship (Seth Godin term), because you're on to something here. :) Either way thank you for giving access and a positive environment.

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  2. Wow I really was not expecting for you to turn my comment into an entire blog post! lol I am deeply flattered by your efforts to do so. I also do realize that this blog is your creative work and personal entity and you are free to do with it what you please. Therefore I was only hoping with my comment to bring awareness that would spotlight the blatant colorism and overlooking of the beauty of dark skin that goes on in America. So I sincerely thank you for giving the dark beauties of the world a much needed platform within your blog.
    I do honestly admire women like you that dedicate thir energy to blogging and I would myself, if only I was as proficent in my computer skills. However I do write, and am working on a book for the empowerment of black women of all shades, and feel that attacking this image problem of black women can be done on many fronts.
    Keep up the good work sister. And stay being black, feminine, and beautiful!

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  3. Ok before I say anything, i just want to thank you for putting up a link to my blog, that makes me so happy. I've noticed that you do reblog some of my photos and I'm flattered. My criteria for images of beautiful feminine women is not as restricted as yours lol but I do post pics of girls wearing pants, bathing suits etc because I believe that a woman can wear these items and still look feminine because when I'm hanging out at the pool, I rock my bathing suit and I make sure that I look feminine. Most of my new wardrobe consists of dresses and skirts but I still have a couple pants in pastel colours that I think are feminine. Some of the girls on my blog have tattoos, which I too am not particularly fond of but hey if i think the pic is good i blog it anyway lol.

    That being said, I can never fully understand the issue of shade-ism in the US. I just don't get it. I consider myself medium to dark toned and I too have been asked if I'm mixed but I don't get all worked up about it. I know non black women who are darker than me (yes there are people out there who are not black or of African decent but they are darker than most blacks) and probably more feminine, but I don't associate femininity with colour or shade. But what I've experience is that a lot of dark skin women on tumblr are very beautiful but I don't reblog some of the photos for many reasons, for example, I wouldn't post a pic of a dark skin woman, (or any shade of woman) who looks oversexed or wearing revealing clothing, overweight or mean mugging. I appreciate their beauty and sometimes I even click the 'like' button when someone blogs it, but I just won't post the image.

    Most of the pictures that I post are probably of dark skin women but to be honest, that's not why I post these photos. I post them only if I think that they;re beautiful and feminine. I do have a couple of pics that are not in keeping of my criteria and that's usually because the person is someone i know personally but couldn't find a decent pic of them, or just someone I admire eg Rihanna because she is a Caribbean girl like myself and half my family are from Barbados.

    In conclusion, I would just like to say that the whole issue with shade-ism in the black community is stupid and counter productive. I've said this on my blog because someone once asked me why I posted pics of mixed girls on my tumblr(apparently they thought my blog was about dark skin girls only) and I felt that I needed to set the record straight.

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  4. Nice blog post. They are all very beautiful, elegant, and poised young women. I sincerely believe that women of all colors from the darkest to the lightest all have equal beauty and glamour. I wish the media would emphasize this instead of elevating one aesthetic over another, but it is nice to see blogs like this one challenging that and spotlighting women of diverse appearance. :)

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  5. Very well said too often black women try to separate each other based on colour which I think is wrong because at the end of the day we are all black. Even in Africa where there is less mixing of the blood with other races there shade still varies. In elegance defense I would say this person misunderstand you as you try to educate black women on elegance and class which is lacking in the black comunity and has nothing to do with what shade of black you are. And elegance do post photos of darker women on her tumbler I too post photos on my tumbler but like elegance said if a woman is not presenting herself as classy, feminine, elegant then why post it ? If you are trying to educate women on class than it goes agance what you believe. Please let us stop segregating our self based on our shades of black we are better than this we are all beautiful colours of the rainbow love it and embrace it.

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  6. I'm reading some of the comments and I find it very interesting that some posters are taking it as though I was being devisive amongst light women vs dark women. My initial comment did not intend that at all. Therefor I feel that "I" am being misunderstood.
    As I read Elegance's breakdown of what she considers light/dark/medium ect. I could not help but think about myself. I am from the south and down here Zoe Saladana is considered light skinned. Or as many southern black men would affectionatly call a "yellow bone".lol I am Gabrielle Union brown and I consider myself dark skinned... The reason I am pointing this out is because in my initial post I was not trying to pit one against the other or try to make EBW into EDBW. I was only simply trying to highlight the fact that in America colorism does exsist,it is harmful, and it effects countless beautiful BW primarily on the darker side of the color spectrum ever single day. Stereotypes in American media do exsist as well, and they dispproportionatly show the darker toned women in negative lights.
    However my intention was not to make my comment about that even. It was more so about little brown girls seeing pretty smiling brown faces which they can see themselves in too. In the same way little yellow black girs do. Because although yes we are adults and can see ourselves in a myriad of BW potrayed in the media from various shades. Little girls see a girl or a woman, look at themselves, then back again, and say to themselves "does this person look like me?" And for the most part thats all she knows. I know thats how it was for me at least. Growing up in the 90s I would look to figures such as Naomi Campbell, Iman, Roshumba (supermodels were the end all be all in the 90's lol) Kenya Moore, Maia Campbell(bless her heart), En Vougue, Reagan Gomez Preston, Robin Givens, & Stacey Dash (clueless was and still is one of my favorite movies)and I would think to myself beacause I am of a similar tone that "THATS how I want to look or carry myself when I grow up".
    So basically all I'm trying to say is yes I do feel that your EBW message is spot on and I do enjoy your posts, I just feel that BW come in a rainbow of hues and each & every one of our little girls deserve to have EBWs that represent them... from the lightest to darkest!
    Again Thankyou for the effort in creating this re-post. Keep up the good work. I'm doing my part with writing my book. I also want to thank those of you who have these Tumblrs showing BW beauties. I had no idea that they even exsisted. So another big shoutout goes to EBW for showcasing those.
    At the end of the day its going to take a collective effort to combat this attack on our image. That's why we even seek out sites such as EBW to go to because its obvious how the media is trying to present us, so let's not attack each other.
    We all realize that the BW image is in great peril media wise, or else we would'nt be here. We all have our part to do as Bw to change this. We know that the white media wont do it, BM wont do it, WM wont do it, and WW certainly wont do it lol! Therefor it is up to us as BW to change the face of our image that the world sees.
    We do this by representing ourselves as shining examples of EBWs on a daily basis. Coming up with our own sources of media driven creativity that empowers, encourages and lifts up the beauty of BW. And by courageously, unapologetically, showing the world our brand of black beauty, elegance and grace!
    WE HAVE THE POWER!!!

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  7. I think we can all agree that a woman can be beautiful no matter her skin tone and it's how a woman presents herself and how she behaves that determines whether she is an EBW. I hope we can all be understanding and respectful of the fact that women grow up with different experiences and perceptions. I think people call it divisive because when people are satisfied with something and someone says they shouldn't feel satisfied it just...doesn't feel good. It makes the other person feel guilty and responsible for others' happiness :)

    I think that if one grows up around a lot of Black people perhaps differences in skin tone are more easily perceived? I'm so used to being the darkest person in the room only dramatic shade differences are salient. I look at Saana Lathan, Gabrielle Union, and Zoe Saldana and I barely notice a difference especially since lighting changes their colour so much too.

    When I see movies and shows with a BW I think "kudos they gave a BW a chance and they were willing to deal with any negative ratings and complaints they may get because of it" so I'm pleased, especially if they are brave enough to show the woman in interracial relationships. I guess because I see racism against Black people as being based on slavery and African origin not on just having dark skin...so I notice racism way more than colorism. I think its Black people who perpetuate colourism and racists don't like Black blood period no matter how light someone is.

    I also think sometimes the light skinned actress is just more attractive to the masses (i.e, White people) and more popular so she is chosen. I accept that the entertainment business is run by White people who only care about money and I don't expect them to fight for Black social issues. So once I accepted that I was never disappointed. Accept the nature of the industry just as you accept that a scorpion will sting you. Pale skin isn't everyone's taste (that's why White actresses tan) and neither is Alek Wek skin, but Gabrielle and Saana skin is average Black and most are okay with it. I think Hollywood just avoids the extremes.

    But like I posted before, we spend too much time with the TV and parents should be choosing better ways for their daughters to spend their time and making effort to select media for them. This is an adult blog. In adult spaces I don't think about little girls. Black parents have to actively seek activities and entertainment for them instead of just turning on the TV and expecting good things.

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  8. I have to add that there are dark skinned fashion models that people can follow. But I am unable to post a lot of photos of them because they are often wearing weird high fashion outfits, pants, revealing clothing, or making strange or dull faces (especially on the catwalk). Naomi for instance is hard to find meeting the criteria (of I forgot to mention I don't post women smoking either so that rules out some fashion photos).

    It's really hard work finding images so I would suggest BW take it up as a hobby, read blogs to see images, and select shows and movies online to see Black actresses. I don't feel deprived at all. I'm watching Rookie Blue, Tru Blood, and Law and Order UK now. I just finished watching Dark Angel (the BW on the show wasn't an EBW though) and there are many others I look forward to watching. I just enjoy the show and pay most attention with the BW is on the screen. I rarely look at my TV anymore.

    Plus, getting dark skinned women on television is the problem of actresses, their agents, and the industry not individual BW. Black actresses have to do what's necessary to compete but they may not be willing to do that (e.g., look at the criticism Halle Berry got for being nude and doing sex scenes, but many White actresses do the same thing). Some of the actresses may not be as trained, talented, or well connected as others. I think it's about having the look and the connections. Plus for all the people who want Black actors on the screen there are probably more who don't so it won't change unless the industry insiders change or more Black people become insiders. That's their concern.

    Frankly, I'm more concerned that Black people better themselves and enter professions where they have power that don't rely on their looks. Asians aren't on television much but they are doing quite well. They subscribe to Asian TV channels, watch Asian movies, buy their magazines, use the Internet etc. and they are doing well. They don't dislike themselves because the White media ignores them right? I think Black people are wasting too much time with entertainment to tell the truth.

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  9. Thank you for your response, Elegance. I am "Anonymous" #1. May I suggest definition your blog mission? My thoughts were that the audience of blog majorily make up of a similar background to yours. If that is the case, is the discussion of colorism new or elevated? To just post pictures of "dark" people means what exactly to your mission? I just find this distracting from the environment you already created.

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  10. Thank you everyone for all of your positive comments and support of my blog.

    Shae Capri was just doing her part promoting the interests of dark skinned women. There was no harm in being assertive and asking and we are all responsible for speaking up, asking for what we want, and working to improve our lives.


    Hi Maria, I like your blog very much and it's good to have some other Black feminine bloggers to follow. I didn't realize that was you :)

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  11. Maria's is http://femmeblackchick.tumblr.com/

    ReplyDelete